Home extension construction
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Getting an extension on your home is a big task, so you want to make sure you hire the right tradesmen for the job. Whether you just need a builder, or want a larger team including an architect, Plentific can generate a list of the best tradesmen in your local area to help you plan your project as soon as possible. Plentific’s service also gives you quick links to customer reviews and feedback for your choices, so you can make your decision with confidence. Best of all, each and every job booked via Plentific will be covered by the Plentific Guarantee.
What do you need to know about home extension construction?
The first thing you need to know about home extension construction is that it requires careful consideration. It can be cheaper than moving house, but you will need to think about exactly what you want and be ready to discuss and assess your plans with professional tradesmen. There are questions you need to answer at the planning stage: will the extension affect your access? Will environmental factors like rights of way, surrounding trees or soil conditions hinder the project? Is your house in a conservation area or national park? Is your building listed? How many storeys do you want the extension to have? An experienced professional tradesmen should be able to advise you on all of this, especially architects, but be sure to check who will be paying local authority application fees.
A crucial thing to get out of the way is making sure of what planning approval your project will require. One thing you will also need to look into is Building Regulations Approval, which is proof that all building and safety standards have been achieved. This is not required if you are working with someone registered with a competent person scheme. Most builders will submit a Full Plan Submission to their local authority, which will incur a fee. A building inspector will then visit your site at different stages of development to make sure everything is being done in line with regulations. Alternatively you can submit a Building Notice, which informs your local council that you will be applying with regulations. When doing this you will need to give at least 48 hours’ notice for when you start work. However, if you do this you will not be working with an approved plan. A building control surveyor may find that certain aspects of the finished project do not meet regulations. At this stage, problems can be very expensive to fix. If you share a wall with a neighbour, or if the extension would bring your house within 3 to 6m of your neighbour’s property, you may need to hire a party wall surveyor. These processes can seem drawn out, but they are entirely necessary to make sure your extension is completed safely, professionally and legally. Once everything is completed you should be given a Completion Certificate, which shows that the work has been completed to the inspector’s satisfaction.
For projects of this size and expense it is paramount that you check the qualifications and experience of your tradesmen. You may just need an experienced builder to plan and facilitate the project, or you may want a larger team including an architect, plasterer, electrician or other tradesmen. It all depends on the project itself. It is likely that any tradesmen you discuss your project with will know qualified people they can recommend for different stages of the job, but even if this is the case you must be sure of your hires. Whoever you choose may have completed an apprenticeship, or might have qualifications from a college or tradesman’s organisation. Their certification should prove their qualifications, though house designers do not have to be registered. A good indicator of expertise is whether your choices are part of any tradesmen organisations, as such groups usually enforce high standards and codes of conduct for members. With any tradesmen you bring onto the site, make sure they have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card (CSCS) as this will not only vouch for their abilities but will also prove that they have passed a CITB health, safety and environment test. You should also be sure to ask for customer feedback from previous jobs - this can include pictures of completed projects. Also remember to ask for feedback and advice regarding your plans, as you may be able to get money saving advice.
You must be sure that your tradesmen have adequate insurance coverage and guarantees relating to accidental damage. They should also be prepared to conduct repair work for structural defects or bad workmanship.
How much does home extension construction cost?
This depends entirely on the project itself, though a typical extension will cost over £20,000. Depending on what type of extension you want, you may need new piping or electrical outlets installed, which can incur significant costs. Do not rely too heavily on average prices: once you have your plans, discuss them with your choices and compare the quotes they give you, remembering to ask for a breakdown. Remember that there are different stages, each with their own cost: designing, building, decorating and, finally, long term costs such as heating. You will usually need multiple tradesmen to complete your project. For smaller extensions, you may be able to hire an architectural technologist rather than an architect, though they are not as qualified.
Before speaking with any tradesmen have a strict budget in place. You may need to alter this as you go, but having one ready can allow your tradesmen to make recommendations to you that could results in a better finished product or a cheaper overall cost.
Unless the project is very short, you will usually be required to make monthly payments for the work being done. However you are quoted, be sure to ask for a price breakdown, and get several to compare. You may be asked to pay a deposit - if this is the case, do not pay too much up front. If expensive equipment needs to be purchased, make sure that this is done in your name.